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An EULA is an End-User License Agreement or software license agreement between you (the purchaser) and the licensor (the software company) that defines the ways the software can be used and your rights to use it. Experts now recommend checking EULAs to ensure you’re not storing confidential information in a solution that’s not secure enough for the legal field.
Because some of the free storage solutions like DropBox, Google, and others aren’t amenable to your client confidentiality requirements, you shouldn’t use them. Unfortunately, some attorneys still do, and as a result, they’re putting their client data and their law firms at risk.
As mentioned, you must ensure your end-user license agreement (EULA) for any software you use, (especially free software) is thoroughly checked to make sure confidential information isn’t being stored in the open. Dropbox has recently had some issues with this.
Cybersolutions recommends that our clients, especially those in the legal field, use cloud-based storage solutions that are paid for (like Microsoft Office 365 or paid versions of G-Suite Services) that state under their terms of service that any mining of data is prohibited.
Dropbox for Lawyers has free and paid accounts. Some have signed up for the free service because they get 2.5 gigabytes of space at no cost and an option to get more space if they refer a new account holder. Plus, they can upload and even share files through the free account. This sounds like a good deal, but Dropbox is no longer recommended for those who store and use confidential documents such as attorneys.
When looking for a cloud-based solution for your document storage and collaboration needs, make sure that you do your research and consider how the available options will affect your clients’ confidentiality.
While you might think the free version of Dropbox for Lawyers gives you a quick, no-cost solution to upload and store files, it could end up costing you in fines and legal fees when your clients and regulatory authorities learn that data was lost to cyber criminals.
Other than a EULA that guarantees the security of your confidential data, look for a cloud-based solution especially designed for law firms.
You can use Google’s free services to write blog posts, create and update website information, and for operations where confidential data isn’t included. There are some great tools in the Google Suite, but using them for anything related to sensitive client data is not recommended.
We urge our legal clients (actually all of our clients) who work with or store confidential data to always check the EULAs in the software they use to ensure sensitive data won’t be exposed. If you aren’t sure and need help doing this, contact the team at Cybersolutions.